Cleer Roam NC Review Rating
The Cleer Roam NC are great earbuds once you factor in the price, the EQ helps you achieve your preferred sound profile which many other affordable earbuds lack. The ANC does offer a small benefit but I feel like this could have been dropped in favour for improving the earbuds elsewhere.
Overall - 70%
- Huge number of features for the money
- EQ allows you to tweak the sound to your liking
- A more natural sound than many earbuds at this price
- ANC is not great
- Some people may prefer more bass
I have been impressed with all the headphones and earbuds I have reviewed from Cleer so far, they are big on features and performance while being low on price. The Cleer Ally Plus II are still one of my go-to pairs of earphones for both fitness and general walking around.
The Cleer Roam NC is one of the more affordable options from Cleer, but they are still jam-packed full of features, but at £60, can they be feature-rich and perform well?
- Vibrant sound with 5.8mm neodymium Dynamic Drivers, tuned in Cleer's acoustic lab
- Active Noise Cancellation suppressing environmental sound by 25dB. Noise cancellation can be adjusted in the Cleer+ app
- Long-lasting 5 hrs of battery life with the earbuds and a quick charge feature providing 1 hr playback after 5 min charge
- Included pocket-friendly charging case provides an additional 10 hrs of playback
- The Cleer+ app allows you to personalize and effortlessly control your listening experience with noise-cancelling and ambient adjustments, EQ settings and user interface. App will also allow for firmware updates
- IPX4 water resistance certified
Design and Fit
The overall look of these earphones is relatively generic, with a plain dark grey case and earbuds. There is a small nubbin of a stem that appears to contain the mic, this then leaves the bulk of the earbud sat within or extruding from your concha.
One peculiar design quirk is the eartips. These are a bit shallower than your average ear tip, and the mounting point has two little spikes that slot into a pre-cut hole on the ear tip. It makes getting the eartips onto the earbud a bit more challenging, and it did look like the rubber around the mounting point was threatening to rip. However, once on, the eartips will be locked into place, eliminating any chance that they may pop off in your ear when you remove them (which has happened to me once or twice with other earphones).
The overall fit, for me, is good, not great. They stay in my ear secure enough that they don't fall out with a good head wobble, but they don't feel quite as secure as some other earbuds, including the Ally II.
These offer a surprisingly neutral and balanced sound, not something you'd expect from affordable earbuds.
At first, bass was lacking a bit too much for my liking, but it appears Cleer has boosted it a little with their latest firmware. Even then, the bass is a bit more subdued than many other mainstream affordable earbuds, which will be a selling point for many users but offputting for others. You can, of course, use the Cleer app to tweak the EQ settings to your liking, it would be good if they had some presets, but it is easy enough to tailor things to fit different genres better.
There is excellent clarity through the mids to highs, with the mids offering a warm enjoyable sound. The highs are well represented without sounding harsh or suffering too much from simblance
These don't seem to get very loud. While you shouldn't be listening to earbuds too loud in the first place, sometimes, in the gym, I prefer things a bit louder.
Active Noice Cancelling
ANC is about as good as you can expect a pair of £60 earbuds to be, which is not very good. Using my standard airplane cabin white noise YouTube video, these offer only the slightest of low-end reduction. It does make a difference, and it will help make noisy commutes a little more bearable, but good ANC costs a lot more.
The battery life is on the low end of average with 5hrs of playback per charge, and 10hrs extra with the USB-C charging case.
Like most earbuds, the battery drains quicker if you listen to them loudly, so you may find yourself charging at closer to 4 hours than 5. 95% of the time, this is enough for me, but there has been a trend towards much longer battery performance, so 4 to 5 hours is starting to look a bit short nowadays.
Price and Alternative Options
The Cleer Ally Plus II are orders of magnitude better in my opinion, but also more than double the price.
I recently reviewed the Elevoc Clear Earbuds, which are available for just $59 during the early bird offer, the ANC is much better than these, but the sound profile is excessively bass-forward.
The Huawei Freebuds Pro were my go-to earbuds for a long time, until the Ally Plus II replaced them. These often go as low as £90 (though £120 currently). The ANC is much better, sound quality is more bass-forward, but there is no IP rating.
The Cleer Roam NC are good earbuds offering a huge number of features at a low price point.
Personally, I'd have preferred them to ditch the ANC and focus on improving a different area of the earbuds, such as the battery.
Having an app with EQ control is a great feature to have on earbuds at this price point, I can't think of any other brand that has it.
Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API